On Barbers and Hairstylists

Today, I went to Dramatics NYC in hopes of finding a slightly cheaper and much closer alternative to my existing hair stylist. I will not be returning.

I have styled my hair in a very specific fashion.I slick it back. The entire style only works if you see the long sleek lines streaking along the sides of my head. The top is very precisely sculpted. Think Sylar when he had his hair slicked back.

I went into Dramatics NYC and got put down for the next appointment. This gave me some time to catch up on reading My Estonia. When I returned, I told my hairstylist my very precise instructions: thin on the sides, but keep it so that it’s slicked back; keep it thick on top (since the top of my head is rather flat), I like to have volume so that I can slick the hair upwards to create those vertical lines.

I am normally not so forceful and demanding. I usually just assume that these people know what they’re doing and so I let them work with minimal direction. But because of past experiences, I learned to assert myself and to be quite clear what my vision was.The stylist took out some buzzers and this is usually the sign of an idiot. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. What a fool I was. In the past, every time they took out those goddamned buzzers they ruined my haircut. I should’ve stopped him right there.What part of “keep it slicked back” didn’t this guy understand? If you’re looking for long lines of hair, you need long strands of hair. It’s not a difficult concept. I just wanted him to thin out the sides a little. That means having at the sides of my hair with a pair of scissors and doing some precision cutting, not buzzing away the bottom of it you gigantic dolt.

By the end of the haircut, I knew that it was a mistake. I tried to explain to him what exactly it was that I wanted done. He has the audacity to try to tell me that it looks better the way he cut it. I would have none of it. Without getting angry or overtly dissatisfied, I told him that this was not what I wanted. He insisted that there was no way to achieve what I wanted. How then do you explain howmyhair was styled before you touched it? What an insolent fool.

I would not berate the self-righteous nincompoop though, not until I got home and determined beyond a doubt that my haircut was not salvageable. But as soon as I got home, I ran to the bathroom and rinsed out my hair, dried it, and slapped some of the thicker pomade I rarely use (it looks too greasy). The result?

It didn’t look that terrible. But he certainly knew how to ruin a perfectly good (albeit slightly overgrown) haircut. I basically just wanted everything thinned out, but he went and screwed around with the whole damn thing. The bottom edges of the side of my hair used to be beautiful, long strands of dark hair that swept backwards. Now they were choppy little stubs of cactus-like thorns, a disgusting pomade trap that ruined the sleek look I was accustomed to. Luckily he didn’t butcher the top part of my hair.

Next time I go to a new stylist, this is going to be my speech to him: Take a look at this hair. I want it to look just like this when you’re done with it. You see how the sides slick back? The way the top slicks back? Keep it like that. If it doesn’t look like this when you’re through with it, I’m not paying for this haircut.

In retrospect, I should’ve expressed my dissatisfaction. It was $30, which is $10 cheaper than what I’m used to, but when you think about it it’s still not exactly chump change. And even if it was, it’s the principle of the matter.

Why is it that hair stylists always manage to believe that they know precisely what looks best on you? Why is it that they can never seem to take direction? Where are the good ones, the ones who can help me achieve my creative vision? I’ve had $80 haircuts, $30 haircuts, and $10 haircuts. No matter the price range, they are often inconsistent and unable to take direction. Do I need to get onto a Hollywood movie set to get my hair done the way I want?

Lesson of the day: change isn’t good. I knew this for all my life, and now it’s a lesson I’ll have to suffer through for another month. I am definitely getting my previous hair stylist’s phone number…

  • Gary

    Perhaps it might help to print out a picture of what you want and show it to them? That might help. $80 for a haircut is quite ridiculous though. I paid $23 for my last one.

  • Hmm…the most basic tip…I somehow forgot that I have that same picture on my iPhone (makes me feel a little weird carrying around a picture of Sylar with me lol). But I’m not so sure if it helps: my $80 hairstylist failed to recreate the results.

  • Gary

    Yeah, it feels rather gay doesn’t it? But then again, it’s no gayer than wanting that specific hairstyle, or going to a salon and trying to get it. So… you gotta do what you gotta do, to get the results you want.

    Goodluck. Look forward to hearing about how your hair journey goes.